Relook at concerts in universities

Entertainment guidelines for HEIs to be reviewed after backlash

PETALING JAYA: The Higher Education Ministry will review its guidelines for entertainment activities, including concerts, at higher education institutions (HEIs).

This comes after a backlash to the Guidelines for Entertainment Activities (Concerts) in HEIs on university campuses issued to these institutions.

The ministry said the guidelines were meant to protect the peace and safety of students and the rest of the campus community during such events.

“It is also a detailed guide for carrying out entertainment activities and programmes, such as concerts, conducted by students on HEI premises,” it said in a statement yesterday.

According to the ministry, the review would be done by its Higher Education Department together with the Universiti Malaya Cultural Council.

A report in Sin Chew Daily said that the guidelines, which were believed to have been issued to universities on Wednesday, stipulated, among others, that male artistes must not be dressed in women’s clothes or vice versa, and that the performers must not display symbols unaccepted by society such as LGBTQ.

They are not to invite the spectators on stage and that the concert must begin by 8.45pm at the latest and should end by 10.45pm.

However, the University of Malaya Association of New Youth said the guidelines were too conservative, citing as examples other stipulations that prohibited men and women from being seated together.

“From this, it can be seen that a conservative wave has made its way into university campuses,” it said in a statement earlier yesterday.

“The Higher Education Ministry has taken on the role of moral police, attempting to impose religious governance on campuses, which goes completely against the values of freedom and progress that universities should uphold.”

Although these guidelines were meant for concerts only, the association voiced its concerns that this would be an “opening” that could lead to other forms of student activities in future being burdened by similar guidelines.

“This could lead to a severe curtailment of autonomy in activities, performances and the freedom of expression,” it said.

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